Yesterday, our fellow B Corporation member Arabella Advisors, wrote a great blog by Ginger Elsea about Why Foundations Should Care About B Corps. She laid out the fantastic case for why foundations that are looking to increase their investing portfolio’s diversity should invest in B Corporations. As she wrote, “As more foundations pursue impact investing—channeling funds to for-profit businesses that also advance a social mission—B Corp certification can serve as a useful starting point in identifying such businesses.”
We’re big proponents of “if you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk”, so her words definitely ring true to us at PICnet.
What about taking this a step further though? What if foundations not only invested in similarly socially-conscious organizations, they also did business with these well-aligned businesses as well? With the parent non-profit organization of B Corporation, B Lab, continuing to certify and play a watchful eye on the B Corporation community, foundations have a partner that can assist them in finding the best companies to provide them needed services and products.
A few years ago, we at PICnet created a coalition of B Corporations called “B Corps for Non-Profits” which provide services specifically to foundations and the social sector. These coalition members receive at least 50% of their revenue from non-profits, and many solely serve non-profits, giving them essential insight into the way foundations function as organizational structures. This enables the delivery of better service, higher quality relationships, and faster results.
At PICnet, we provide online tools (Soapbox Engage) that enable foundations to integrate their websites with Salesforce.com (free for foundations) to create grant applications, letters of intent, fellowship applications, and more. As a B Corporation focused on our non-profit sector, we’re able to bring specialized insight to our foundations while also working alongside fellow B Corps to provide a well-rounded solution.
By combining an investment and service provider strategy that focuses on working with well-aligned businesses, foundations can more effectively meet their own missions and promote the creation of a marketplace that serves a triple-bottom line.
Want to learn more about how your business can become a B Corporation? Take a look at the B Corporation website and sign up today!
UPDATE ON 1/14/2012: For a quick example highlighting the benefits of a foundation working with a B Corporation, read our post on the online application system we built with the Nathan Cummings Foundation that integrates with their Salesforce.com instance.
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